Bad serial port behaviour in DOS box on a Dell GX200

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

I have recently been provided with a Dell GX200 which has two standard
serial ports (ie. COM1: and COM2: with the standard I/O and IRQ), for
the purpose of supporting various legacy applications.

However, I only get normal serial port behaviour in Safe Mode (from within
Windows) or in "Pure DOS" mode. In Normal Windows mode or even after
"Shutdown to MS-DOS" mode, the serial ports either don't work at all (eg. all
outputs are negative and/or all inputs read as active) or else communications
is quite unreliable, even at low baud rates such as 1200bps.

Yet, all the other W98SE computers around here work just fine, no problems
with running these legacy applications that expect BIOS level and/or hardware
level access to the serial ports.

So, what's going on here? The Safe Mode and Pure DOS behaviour indicates
the hardware is OK. The other PC's indicate that W98SE _should_ be OK. Yet
in this case W98SE in normal mode is doing something strange. It isn't
shutting
down the serial ports to conserve power because the serial output are still
driving the LED's of my mini-tester.

BTW, both serial ports exhibit this problem. All updates for W98SE are
installed
(except the games).

Joe.
3 answers Last reply
More about serial port behaviour dell gx200
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    try setting the ports in device manager
    Windows has a problem so it may be the windows interface with a problem


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    "j_ds_au" <jdsau@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:88B2691C-3123-40C6-B476-DB518361B66D@microsoft.com...
    | I have recently been provided with a Dell GX200 which has two standard
    | serial ports (ie. COM1: and COM2: with the standard I/O and IRQ), for
    | the purpose of supporting various legacy applications.
    |
    | However, I only get normal serial port behaviour in Safe Mode (from within
    | Windows) or in "Pure DOS" mode. In Normal Windows mode or even after
    | "Shutdown to MS-DOS" mode, the serial ports either don't work at all (eg.
    all
    | outputs are negative and/or all inputs read as active) or else
    communications
    | is quite unreliable, even at low baud rates such as 1200bps.
    |
    | Yet, all the other W98SE computers around here work just fine, no problems
    | with running these legacy applications that expect BIOS level and/or
    hardware
    | level access to the serial ports.
    |
    | So, what's going on here? The Safe Mode and Pure DOS behaviour indicates
    | the hardware is OK. The other PC's indicate that W98SE _should_ be OK. Yet
    | in this case W98SE in normal mode is doing something strange. It isn't
    | shutting
    | down the serial ports to conserve power because the serial output are
    still
    | driving the LED's of my mini-tester.
    |
    | BTW, both serial ports exhibit this problem. All updates for W98SE are
    | installed
    | (except the games).
    |
    | Joe.
    |
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    Could be power managment (APM). See if you can kill it (and if you do,
    be sure to do it both in windows and the BIOS).

    j_ds_au wrote:
    > I have recently been provided with a Dell GX200 which has two standard
    > serial ports (ie. COM1: and COM2: with the standard I/O and IRQ), for
    > the purpose of supporting various legacy applications.
    >
    > However, I only get normal serial port behaviour in Safe Mode (from within
    > Windows) or in "Pure DOS" mode. In Normal Windows mode or even after
    > "Shutdown to MS-DOS" mode, the serial ports either don't work at all (eg. all
    > outputs are negative and/or all inputs read as active) or else communications
    > is quite unreliable, even at low baud rates such as 1200bps.
    >
    > Yet, all the other W98SE computers around here work just fine, no problems
    > with running these legacy applications that expect BIOS level and/or hardware
    > level access to the serial ports.
    >
    > So, what's going on here? The Safe Mode and Pure DOS behaviour indicates
    > the hardware is OK. The other PC's indicate that W98SE _should_ be OK. Yet
    > in this case W98SE in normal mode is doing something strange. It isn't
    > shutting
    > down the serial ports to conserve power because the serial output are still
    > driving the LED's of my mini-tester.
    >
    > BTW, both serial ports exhibit this problem. All updates for W98SE are
    > installed
    > (except the games).


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  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    A difference between safe mode and normal mode is that Windows will install
    extra drivers in normal mode. So boot to normal mode and look in device
    manager for devices that could be conflicting with the serial ports, or for
    virtual devices that could be conflicting, or for an application or device
    that might be attempting to use the serial ports.
    --
    Jeff Richards
    MS MVP (Windows - Shell/User)
    "j_ds_au" <jdsau@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:88B2691C-3123-40C6-B476-DB518361B66D@microsoft.com...
    >I have recently been provided with a Dell GX200 which has two standard
    > serial ports (ie. COM1: and COM2: with the standard I/O and IRQ), for
    > the purpose of supporting various legacy applications.
    >
    > However, I only get normal serial port behaviour in Safe Mode (from within
    > Windows) or in "Pure DOS" mode. In Normal Windows mode or even after
    > "Shutdown to MS-DOS" mode, the serial ports either don't work at all (eg.
    > all
    > outputs are negative and/or all inputs read as active) or else
    > communications
    > is quite unreliable, even at low baud rates such as 1200bps.
    >
    > Yet, all the other W98SE computers around here work just fine, no problems
    > with running these legacy applications that expect BIOS level and/or
    > hardware
    > level access to the serial ports.
    >
    > So, what's going on here? The Safe Mode and Pure DOS behaviour indicates
    > the hardware is OK. The other PC's indicate that W98SE _should_ be OK. Yet
    > in this case W98SE in normal mode is doing something strange. It isn't
    > shutting
    > down the serial ports to conserve power because the serial output are
    > still
    > driving the LED's of my mini-tester.
    >
    > BTW, both serial ports exhibit this problem. All updates for W98SE are
    > installed
    > (except the games).
    >
    > Joe.
    >
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